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Title: Henry Hudson - A Brief Statement of His Aims and His Achievements
Author: Janvier, Thomas A. (Thomas Allibone), 1849-1913
Language: English
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A Brief Life of Henry Hudson

Newly-discovered Documents


It is with great pleasure that I include in this volume
contemporary Hudson documents which have remained neglected for
three centuries, and here are published for the first time. As I
explain more fully elsewhere, their discovery is due to the
painstaking research of Mr. R.G. Marsden, M.A. My humble share in
the matter has been to recognize the importance of Mr. Marsden's
discovery; and to direct the particular search in the Record
Office, in London, that has resulted in their present reproduction.
I regret that they are inconclusive. We still are ignorant of what
punishment was inflicted upon the mutineers of the "Discovery"; or
even if they were punished at all.

The primary importance of these documents, however, is not that
they establish the fact--until now not established--that the
mutineers were brought to trial; it is that they embody the sworn
testimony, hitherto unproduced, of six members of Hudson's crew
concerning the mutiny. Asher, the most authoritative of Hudson's
modern historians, wrote: "Prickett is the only eye-witness that
has left us an account of these events, and we can therefore not
correct his statements whether they be true or false." We now have
the accounts of five additional eye-witnesses (Prickett himself is
one of the six whose testimony has been recovered), and all of
them, so far as they go, substantially are in accord with
Prickett's account. Such agreement is not proof of truth. The newly
adduced witnesses and the earlier single witness equally were
interested in making out a case in their own favor that would save
them from being hanged. But this new evidence does entitle
Prickett's "Larger Discourse" to a more respectful consideration
than that dubious document heretofore has received. Save in matters
affected by this fresh material, the following narrative is a
condensation of what has been recorded by Hudson's authoritative
biographers, of whom the more important are: Samuel Purchas, Hessel
Gerritz, Emanuel Van Meteren, G.M. Asher, Henry C. Murphy, John
Romeyn Brodhead, and John Meredith Read.

New York, _July_ 16, 1909.


No portrait of Hudson is known to be in existence. What has passed
with the uncritical for his portrait--a dapper-looking man wearing
a ruffed collar--frequently has been, and continues to be,
reproduced. Who that man was is unknown. That he was not Hudson is

Lacking Hudson's portrait, I have used for a frontispiece a
photograph, especially taken for this purpose, of the interior of
the Church of Saint Ethelburga: the sole remaining material link,
of which we have sure knowledge, between Hudson and ourselves. The
drawing on the cover represents what is very near to being another
material link--the replica, lately built in Holland, of the "Half
Moon," the ship in which Hudson made his most famous voyage.

The other illustrations have been selected with a strict regard to
the meaning of that word. In order to throw light on the text, I
have preferred--to the ventures of fancy--reproductions of
title-pages of works on navigation that Hudson probably used;
pictures of the few and crude instruments of navigation that he
certainly used; and pictures of ships virtually identical with
those in which he sailed.

The copy of Wright's famous work on navigation that Hudson may have
had, and probably did have, with him was of an earlier date than
that (1610) of which the title-page here is reproduced. This
reproduction is of interest in that it shows at a glance all of the
nautical instruments that Hudson had at his command; and of a still
greater interest in that the map which is a part of it exhibits
what at that time, by exploration or by conjecture, was the known
world. To the making of that map Hudson himself contributed: on it,
with a previously unknown assurance, his River clearly is marked.
The inadequate indication of his Bay probably is taken from
Weymouth's chart--the chart that Hudson had with him on his voyage.
A curious feature of this map is its marking--in defiance of known
facts--of two straits, to the north and to the south of a large
island, where should be the Isthmus of Panama.

The one seemingly fanciful picture, that of the mermaids, is not
fanciful--a point that I have enlarged upon elsewhere--by the
standard of Hudson's times. Hudson himself believed in the
existence of mermaids: as is proved by his matter-of-fact entry in
his log that a mermaid had been seen by two of his crew.




If ever a compelling Fate set its grip upon a man and drove him to
an accomplishment beside his purpose and outside his thought, it
was when Henry Hudson--having headed his ship upon an ordered
course northeastward--directly traversed his orders by fetching
that compass to the southwestward which ended by bringing him into
what now is Hudson's River, and which led on quickly to the
founding of what now is New York.

Indeed, the late Thomas Aquinas, and the later Calvin, could have
made out from the few known facts in the life of this navigator so
pretty a case in favor of Predestination that the blessed St.
Augustine and the worthy Arminius--supposing the four come together
for a friendly dish of theological talk--would have had their work
cut out for them to formulate a countercase in favor of Free Will.
It is a curious truth that every important move in Hudson's life of
which we have record seems to have been a forced move: sometimes
with a look of chance about it--as when the directors of the Dutch
East India Company called him back and hastily renewed with him
their suspended agreement that he should search for a passage to
Cathay on a northeast course past Nova Zembla, and so sent him off
on the voyage that brought the "Half Moon" into Hudson's River;
sometimes with the fatalism very much in evidence--as when his own
government seized him out of the Dutch service, and so put him in
the way to go sailing to his death on that voyage through Hudson's
Strait that ended, for him, in his mutineering crew casting him
adrift to starve with cold and hunger in Hudson's Bay. And, being
dead, the same inconsequent Fate that harried him while alive has
preserved his name, and very nobly, by anchoring it fast to that
River and Strait and Bay forever: and this notwithstanding the fact
that all three of them were discovered by other navigators before
his time.

Hudson sought, as from the time of Columbus downward other
navigators had sought before him, a short cut to the Indies; but
his search was made, because of what those others had accomplished,
within narrowed lines. In the century and more that had passed
between the great Admiral's death and the beginning of Hudson's
explorations one important geographical fact had been established:
that there was no water-way across America between, roughly,
the latitudes of 40° South and 40° North. Of necessity,
therefore--since to round America south of 40° South would make a
longer voyage than by the known route around the Cape of Good
Hope--exploration that might produce practical results had to be
made north of 40° North, either westward from the Atlantic or
eastward from the North Sea.

Even within those lessened limits much had been determined before
Hudson's time. To the eastward, both Dutch and English searchers
had gone far along the coast of Russia; passing between that coast
and Nova Zembla and entering the Kara Sea. To the westward, in the
year 1524, Verazzano had sailed along the American coast from 34°
to 50° North; and in the course of that voyage had entered what now
is New York Bay. In the year 1598, Sebastian Cabot had coasted
America from 38° North to the mouth of what now is Hudson's Strait.
Frobisher had entered that Strait in the year 1577; Weymouth had
sailed into it nearly one hundred leagues in the year 1602; and
Portuguese navigators, in the years 1558 and 1569, probably had
passed through it and had entered what now is Hudson's Bay.


As the result of all this exploration, Hudson had at his command a
mass of information--positive as well as negative--that at once
narrowed his search and directed it; and there is very good reason
for believing that he actually carried with him charts of a crude
sort on which, more or less clearly, were indicated the Strait and
the Bay and the River which popularly are regarded as of his
discovery and to which have been given his name. But I hold that
his just fame is not lessened by the fact that his discoveries,
nominally, were rediscoveries. Within the proper meaning of the
word they truly were his dis-coveries: in that he did un-cover them
so effectually that they became known clearly, and thereafter
remained known clearly, to the world.


Because of his full accomplishment of what others essayed and only
partially accomplished, Hudson's name is the best known--excepting
only that of Columbus--of all the names of explorers by land and
sea. From Purchas's time downward it has headed the list of Arctic
discoverers; in every history of America it has a leading place; on
every map of North America it thrice is written large; here in New
York, which owes its founding to his exploring voyage, it is
uttered--as we refer to the river, the county, the city, the
street, the railroad, bearing it--a thousand times a day.

And yet, in despite of this familiarity with his name, our certain
knowledge of Hudson's life is limited to a period (April 19,
1607-June 22,1611) of little more than four years. Of that period,
during which he did the work that has made him famous, we have a
partial record--much of it under his own hand--that certainly is
authentic in its general outlines until it reaches the culminating
tragedy. At the very last, where we most want the clear truth, we
have only the one-sided account presented by his murderers: and
murderers, being at odds with moral conventions generally, are not,
as a rule, models of veracity. And so it has fallen out that what
we know about the end of Hudson's life, save that it ended foully,
is as uncertain as the facts of the earlier and larger part of his
life are obscure.

An American investigator, the late Gen. John Meredith Read, has
gone farthest in unearthing facts which enlighten this obscurity;
but with no better result than to establish certain strong
probabilities as to Hudson's ancestry and antecedents. By General
Read's showing, the Henry Hudson mentioned by Hakluyt as one of the
charter members (February 6, 1554-5) of the Muscovy Company,
possibly was our navigator's grandfather. He was a freeman of
London, a member of the Skinners Company, and sometime an alderman.
He died in December, 1555, according to Stow, "of the late hote
burning feuers, whereof died many olde persons, so that in London
died seven Aldermen in the space of tenne monthes." They gave that
departed worthy a very noble funeral! Henry Machyn, who had charge
of it, describes it in his delightful "Diary" in these terms: "The
xx day of December was bered at Sant Donstones in the Est master
Hare Herdson, altherman of London and Skynner, and on of the
masters of the gray frere in London with men and xxiiij women in
mantyl fresse [frieze?] gownes, a herse [catafalque] of wax and
hong with blake; and there was my lord mare and the swordberer in
blake, and dyvers oder althermen in blake, and the resedew of the
althermen, atys berying; and all the masters, boyth althermen and
odur, with ther gren staffes in ther hands, and all the chylders of
the gray frersse, and iiij in blake gownes bayring iiij gret
stayffes-torchys bornying, and then xxiiij men with torchys
bornying; and the morrow iij masses songe; and after to ys plasse
to dener; and ther was ij goodly whyt branches, and mony prestes
and clarkes syngying." Stow adds that the dead alderman's widow,
Barbara, caused to be set up in St. Dunstan's to his memory--and
also to that of her second husband, Sir Richard Champion, and
prospectively to her own--a monument in keeping with their worldly
condition and with the somewhat mixed facts of their triangular
case. This was a "very faire Alabaster Tombe, richly and curiously
gilded, and two ancient figures of Aldermen in scarlet kneeling,
the one at the one end of the tombe in a goodly arch, the other at
the other end in like manner, and a comely figure of a lady between
them, who was wife to them both."

The names have been preserved in legal records of three of the
sons--Thomas, John and Edward--of this eminent Londoner: who
flourished so greatly in life; who was given so handsome a send-off
into eternity; and who, presumably, retains in that final state an
undivided one-half interest in the lady whose comely figure was
sculptured upon his tomb. General Read found record of a Henry
Hudson, mentioned by Stow as a citizen of London in the year 1558,
who may also have been a son of the alderman; of a Captain Thomas
Hudson, of Limehouse, who had a leading part in an expedition set
forth "into the parts of Persia and Media" by the Muscovy Company
in the years 1577-81; of a Thomas Hudson, of Mortlake, who was a
friend of Dr. John Dee, and to whom references frequently are made
in the famous "Diary" such as the following: "March 6 [1583]. I,
and Mr. Adrian Gilbert and John Davis did mete with Mr. Alderman
Barnes, Mr. Townson, and Mr. Young, and Mr. Hudson abowt the N.W.
voyage." Concerning a Christopher Hudson--who was in the service of
the Muscovy Company as its agent and factor at Moscow from about
the year 1553 until about the year 1576--the only certainty is that
he was not a son of the Alderman. There is a record of the year
1560 that "Christopher Hudson hath written to come home ...
considering the death of his father and mother"; and, as the
Alderman died in the year 1555, and as his remarried widow was
alive in the year 1560, this is conclusive. Being come back to
England, this Christopher rose to be a person of importance in the
Company; as appears from the fact that he was one of a committee
(circa 1583) appointed to confer with "Captain Chris. Carlile ...
upon his intended discoveries and attempt into the hithermost parts
of America."


General Read thus summarized the result of his investigations: "We
have learned that London was the residence of Henry Hudson the
elder, of Henry Hudson his son, and of Christopher Hudson, and that
Captain Thomas Hudson lived at Limehouse, now a part of the
Metropolis; while Thomas Hudson, the friend of Dr. John Dee,
resided at Mortlake, then only six or seven miles from the City
... By reference to a statement made by Abakuk Prickett, in his
'Larger Discourse,' it will be found that Henry Hudson the
discoverer also was a citizen of London and had a house there."
From all of which, together with various minor corroborative facts,
he draws these conclusions: That Henry Hudson the discoverer was
the descendant, probably the grandson, of the Henry Hudson who died
while holding the office of Alderman of the City of London in the
year 1555; that he "received his early training, and imbibed the
ideas which controlled the purposes of his after life, under the
fostering care of the great Corporation [the Muscovy Company] which
his relatives had helped to found and afterwards to maintain"; that
he entered the service of that Company as an apprentice, in
accordance with the then custom, and in due course was advanced to
command rank.

That is the net result of General Read's most laboriously
painstaking investigations. The facts for which he searched so
diligently, and so longed to find, he did not find. In a foot-note
he added: "The place and date of Hudson's birth will doubtless be
accurately ascertained in the course of the examinations now being
made in England under my directions. The result of these researches
I hope to be able to present to the public at no distant day." That
note was written nearly fifty years ago, and its writer died long
since with his hope unrealized.

But while General Read failed to accomplish his main purpose, he
did, as I have said, more than any other investigator has done to
throw light on Hudson's ancestry, and on his connection with the
Muscovy Company in whose service he sailed. Our navigator may or
may not have been a grandson of the alderman who cut so fine a
figure in the City three centuries and a half ago; but beyond a
reasonable doubt he was of the family--so eminently distinguished
in the annals of discovery--to which that alderman, one of the
founders of the Muscovy Company, and Christopher Hudson, one of its
later governors, and Captain Thomas Hudson, who sailed in its
service, all belonged. And, being akin to such folk, the natural
disposition to adventure was so strong within him that it led him
on to accomplishments which have made him the most illustrious
bearer of his name.


"Anno, 1607, Aprill the nineteenth, at Saint Ethelburge, in Bishops
Gate street, did communicate with the rest of the parishioners,
these persons, seamen, purposing to goe to sea foure days after,
for to discover a passage by the North Pole to Japan and China.
First, Henry Hudson, master. Secondly, William Colines, his mate.
Thirdly, James Young. Fourthly, John Colman. Fiftly, John Cooke.
Sixtly, James Beubery. Seventhly, James Skrutton. Eightly, John
Pleyce. Ninthly, Thomas Barter. Tenthly, Richard Day. Eleventhly,
James Knight. Twelfthly, John Hudson, a boy."

With those words Purchas prefaced his account of what is
known--because we have no record of earlier voyages--as Hudson's
first voyage; and with those words our certain knowledge of
Hudson's life begins.

St. Ethelburga's, a restful pause in the bustle of Bishopsgate
Street, still stands--the worse, to be sure, for the clutter of
little shops that has been built in front of it, and for
incongruous interior renovation--and I am very grateful to Purchas
for having preserved the scrap of information that links Hudson's
living body with that church which still is alive: into which may
pass by the very doorway that he passed through those who venerate
his memory; and there may stand within the very walls and beneath
the very roof that sheltered him when he and his ship's company
partook of the Sacrament together three hundred years ago. Purchas,
no doubt, could have told all that we so gladly would know of
Hudson's early history. But he did not tell it--and we must rest
content, I think well content, with that poetic beginning at the
chancel rail of St. Ethelburga's of the strong life that less than
four years later came to its epic ending.

The voyage made in the year 1607, for which Hudson and his crew
prepared by making their peace with God in St. Ethelburga's, had
nothing to do with America; nor did his voyage of the year
following have anything to do with this continent. Both of those
adventures were set forth by the Muscovy Company in search of a
northeast passage to the Indies; and, while they failed in their
main purpose, they added important facts concerning the coasts of
Spitzbergen and of Nova Zembla to the existing stock of
geographical knowledge, and yielded practical results in that they
extended England's Russian trade.

The most notable scientific accomplishment of the first voyage was
the high northing made. By observation (July 23, 1607) Hudson was
in 80° 23'. By reckoning, two days later, he was in 81°. His
reckoning, because of his ignorance of the currents, always has
been considered doubtful. His observed position recently has been
questioned by Sir Martin Conway, who has arrived at the conclusion:
"It is demonstrably probable that for 80° 23' we should read 79°
23'."[1] But even with this reduction accepted, the fact remains
that until the year 1773, when Captain Phipps reached 80° 48',
Hudson held the record for "farthest north."

  [Footnote 1: "Hudson's Voyage to Spitzbergen in 1607," by Sir
  Martin Conway. _The Geographical Journal_, February, 1900.]

To the second voyage belongs the often-quoted incident of the
mermaid. The log of that voyage that has come down to us was kept
by Hudson himself; and this is what he wrote in it (June 15, 1608)
with his own hand: "All day and night cleere sunshine. The wind at
east. The latitude at noone 75 degrees 7 minutes. We held westward
by our account 13 leagues. In the afternoon, the sea was asswaged,
and the wind being at east we set sayle, and stood south and by
east, and south southeast as we could. This morning one of our
companie looking over boord saw a mermaid, and calling up some of
the companie to see her, one more came up and by that time shee was
come close to the ships side, looking earnestly on the men. A
little after a sea came and overturned her. From the navill upward
her backe and breasts were like a womans, as they say that saw her,
but her body as big as one of us. Her skin very white, and long
haire hanging downe behinde of colour blacke. In her going downe
they saw her tayle, which was like the tayle of a porposse, and
speckled like a macrell. Their names that saw her were Thomas
Hilles and Robert Rayner."

[Illustration: FROM DE BREY. EDITION 1619]

I am sorry to say that the too-conscientious Doctor Asher, in
editing this log, felt called upon to add, in a foot-note:
"Probably a seal"; and to quote, in support of his prosaic
suggestion, various unnecessary facts about seals observed a few
centuries later in the same waters by Doctor Kane. For my own part,
I much prefer to believe in the mermaid--and, by so believing, to
create in my own heart somewhat of the feeling which was in the
hearts of those old seafarers in a time when sea-prodigies and
sea-mysteries were to be counted with as among the perils of every
ocean voyage.

This belief of mine is not a mere whimsical fancy. Unless we take
as real what the shipmen of Hudson's time took as real, we not
only miss the strong romance which was so large a part of their
life, but we go wide of understanding the brave spirit in which
their exploring work was done. Adventuring into tempests in their
cockle-shell ships they took as a matter of course--and were brave
in that way without any thought of their bravery. As a part of the
day's work, also, they took their wretched quarters aboard ship and
their wretched, and usually insufficient, food. Their highest
courage was reserved for facing the fearsome dangers which existed
only in their imaginations--but which were as real to them as were
the dangers of wreck and of starvation and of battlings with wild
beasts, brute or human, in strange new-found lands. It followed of
necessity that men leading lives so full of physical hardship, and
so beset by wondering dread, were moody and discontented--and so
easily went on from sullen anger into open mutiny. And equally did
it follow that the shipmasters who held those surly brutes to the
collar--driving them to their work with blows, and now and then
killing one of them by way of encouraging the others to
obedience--were as absolutely fearless and as absolutely strong of
will as men could be. All of these conditions we must recognize,
and must try to realize, if we would understand the work that was
cut out for Hudson, and for every master navigator, in that cruel
and harsh and yet ardently romantic time.


It is Hudson's third voyage--the one that brought him into our own
river, and that led on directly to the founding of our own
city--that has the deepest interest to us of New York. He made it
in the service of the Dutch East India Company: but how he came to
enter that service is one of the unsolved problems in his career.

In itself, there was nothing out of the common in those days in an
English shipmaster going captain in a Dutch vessel. But Hudson--by
General Read's showing--was so strongly backed by family influence
in the Muscovy Company that it is not easy to understand why he
took service with a corporation that in a way was the Muscovy
Company's trade rival. Lacking any explanation of the matter, I am
inclined to link it with the action of the English Government--when
he returned from his voyage and made harbor at Dartmouth--in
detaining him in England and in ordering him to serve only under
the English flag; and to infer that his going to Holland was the
result of a falling out with the directors of the Muscovy Company;
and that at their request, when the chances of the sea brought him
within English jurisdiction, he was detained in his own
country--and so was put in the way to take up with the adventure
that led him straight onward to his death. In all of which may be
seen the working-out of that fatalism which to my mind is so
apparent in Hudson's doings, and which is most apparent in his
third voyage: that evidently had its origin in a series of curious
mischances, and that ended in his doing precisely what those who
sent him on it were resolved that he should not do.

All that we know certainly about his taking service with the Dutch
Company is told in a letter from President Jeannin--the French
envoy who was engaged in the years 1608-9, with representatives of
other nations, in trying to patch up a truce or a peace between the
Netherlands and Spain--to his master, Henry IV. Along with his open
instructions, Jeannin seems to have had private instructions--in
keeping with the customs and principles of the time--to do what he
could do in the way of stealing from Holland for the benefit of
France a share of the East India trade. In regard to this amiable
phase of his mission, under date of January 21, 1609, he wrote:

"Some time ago I made, by your Majesty's orders, overtures to an
Amsterdam merchant named Isaac Le Maire, a wealthy man of a
considerable experience in the East India trade. He offered to make
himself useful to your Majesty in matters of this kind.... A few
days ago he sent to me his brother, to inform me that an English
pilot who has twice sailed in search of a northern passage has been
called to Amsterdam by the East India Company to tell them what he
had found, and whether he hoped to discover that passage. They had
been well satisfied with his answer, and had thought they might
succeed in the scheme. They had, however, been unwilling to
undertake at once the said expedition; and they had only
remunerated the Englishman for his trouble, and had dismissed him
with the promise of employing him next year, 1610. The Englishman,
having thus obtained his leave, Le Maire, who knows him well, has
since conferred with him and has learnt his opinions on these
subjects; with regard to which the Englishman had also intercourse
with Plancius, a great geographer and clever mathematician.
Plancius maintains, according to the reasons of his science, and
from the information given him, ... that there must be in the
northern parts a passage corresponding to the one found near the
south pole by Magellan.... The Englishman also reports that, having
been to the north as far as 80 degrees, he has found that the more
northwards he went, the less cold it became."

[Illustration: "HOW THE EARTH IS ROUND"

Hudson's name is not mentioned by Jeannin, but as no other
navigator had been so far north as 80°, there can be no doubt as to
who "the Englishman" was. The letter goes on to urge that the
French king should undertake the "glorious enterprise" of searching
for a northerly passage to the Indies, and that he should undertake
it openly: as "the East India Company will not have even a right
to complain, because the charter granted to them by the States
General authorizes them to sail only around the Cape of Good Hope,
and not by the north." But Jeannin adds that Le Maire "does not
dare to speak about it to any one, because the East India Company
fears above everything to be forestalled in this design."

Precisely that fear on the part of the East India Company did
undercut the French envoy's plans. In a postscript to his letter he
adds: "This letter having been terminated, and I being ready to
send it to your Majesty, Le Maire has again written to me.... Some
members of the East India Company, who had been informed that the
Englishman had secretly treated with him, had become afraid that I
might wish to employ him for the discovery of the passage. For this
reason they have again treated with him about his undertaking such
an expedition in the course of the present year. The directors of
the Amsterdam Chamber have written to the other chambers of the
same Company to request their approval; and should the others
refuse, the Amsterdam Chamber will undertake the expedition at
their own risk."

In point of fact, the other chambers did refuse (although, before
Hudson actually sailed, they seem to have ratified the agreement
made with him); and the Amsterdam Chamber, single-handed, did set
forth the voyage.

In view of the fact that the French project in a way was realized,
a curiously subtle interest attaches to Jeannin's showing of how
narrow were the chances by which Hudson missed being taken into the
French service, and was taken into that of the Dutch. A French
ship, under the command of a captain whose name has not been
preserved, did sail for the North--almost precisely a month later
than Hudson's sailing--on May 5, 1609. Beyond the bare fact that
such a voyage was made, nothing is known about it: whence the
inference is a reasonable one that it produced no new discoveries.
But suppose that Hudson had commanded; and, so commanding, had not
sailed that unknown captain's useless course but had brought his
French ship into what now are our bay and our river; and that the
French, not the Dutch, had founded the city here that now is--but
by those hair-wide chances might not have been--New York?


Mr. Henry C. Murphy--to whose searchings in the archives of Holland
we owe so much--found at The Hague a manuscript history of the East
India Company, written by P. van Dam in the seventeenth century, in
which a copy of Hudson's contract with the Company is preserved.
The contract reads as follows:

"On this eighth of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand
six hundred and nine, the Directors of the East India Company of
the Chamber of Amsterdam of the ten years reckoning of the one
part, and Master Henry Hudson, Englishman, assisted by Jodocus
Hondius[1], of the other part, have agreed in manner following, to
wit: That the said Directors shall in the first place equip a small
vessel or yacht of about thirty lasts [60 tons] burden, well
provided with men, provisions and other necessaries, with which the
above named Hudson shall, about the first of April, sail in order
to search for a passage by the north, around the north side of Nova
Zembla, and shall continue thus along that parallel until he shall
be able to sail southward to the latitude of sixty degrees. He
shall obtain as much knowledge of the lands as can be done without
any considerable loss of time, and if it is possible return
immediately in order to make a faithful report and relation of his
voyage to the Directors, and to deliver over his journals,
log-books, and charts, together with an account of everything
whatsoever which shall happen to him during the voyage without
keeping anything back.

"For which said voyage the Directors shall pay the said Hudson, as
well for his outfit for the said voyage as for the support of his
wife and children, the sum of eight hundred guilders [say $336].
And in case (which God prevent) he does not come back or arrive
hereabouts within a year, the Directors shall farther pay to his
wife two hundred guilders in cash; and thereupon they shall not be
farther liable to him or his heirs, unless he shall either
afterward or within the year arrive and have found the passage good
and suitable for the Company to use; in which case the Directors
will reward the before named Hudson for his dangers, trouble, and
knowledge, in their discretion.

"And in case the Directors think proper to prosecute and continue
the same voyage, it is stipulated and agreed with the before named
Hudson that he shall make his residence in this country with his
wife and children, and shall enter into the employment of no other
than the Company, and this at the discretion of the Directors, who
also promise to make him satisfied and content for such farther
service in all justice and equity. All without fraud or evil
intent. In witness of the truth, two contracts are made hereof ...
and are subscribed by both parties and also by Jodocus Hondius as
interpreter and witness."

[Footnote 1: Hondius, an eminent map-engraver of the time, was a
Fleming, who, being driven from Flanders by the Spanish cruelties,
made his home in Amsterdam, where he died in the year 1611.]


Of Hudson's sailing orders no copy has been found; but an abstract
of them has been preserved by Van Dam in these words: "This
Company, in the year 1609, fitted out a yacht of about thirty lasts
burden and engaged a Mr. Henry Hudson, an Englishman, and a
skilful pilot, as master thereof: with orders to search for the
aforesaid passage by the north and north-east above Nova Zembla
toward the lands or straits of Amian, and then to sail at least as
far as the sixtieth degree of north latitude, when if the time
permitted he was to return from the straits of Amian again to this
country. But he was farther ordered by his instructions to think of
discovering no other route or passages except the route around the
north and north-east above Nova Zembla; with this additional
proviso that, if it could not be accomplished at that time, another
route would be the subject of consideration for another voyage."

It is evident from the foregoing that never did a shipmaster get
away to sea with more explicit orders than those which were given
to Hudson as to how his voyage was, and as to how it was not, to be
made. On his obedience to those orders, which essentially were a
part of his contract, depended the obligation of the directors to
pay him for his services; and farther depended--a consideration
that reasonably might be expected to touch him still more
closely--their obligation to bestow a solatium upon his wife and
children in the event of his death. And yet, with those facts
clearly before him, he did precisely what he had contracted, and
what in most express terms he was ordered, not to do.


Hudson sailed from the Texel in the "Half Moon" (possibly
accompanied by a small vessel, the "Good Hope," that did not pursue
the voyage) on March 27-April 6, 1609; and for more than a
month--until he had doubled the North Cape and was well on toward
Nova Zembla--went duly on his way. Then came the mutiny that made
him change, or that gave him an excuse for changing, his ordered

The log that has been preserved of this voyage was kept by Robert
Juet; who was Hudson's mate on his second voyage, and who was mate
again on Hudson's fourth voyage--until his mutinous conduct caused
him to be deposed. What rating he had on board the "Half Moon" is
not known; nor do we know whether he had, or had not, a share in
the mutiny that changed the ship's course from east to west. With a
suspicious frankness, he wrote in his log: "Because it is a journey
usually knowne I omit to put downe what passed till we came to the
height of the North Cape of Finmarke, which we did performe by the
fift of May (stilo novo), being Tuesday." To this he adds the
observed position on May 5th, 71° 46' North, and the course, "east,
and by south and east," and continues: "After much trouble, with
fogges sometimes, and more dangerous ice. The nineteenth, being
Tuesday, was close stormie weather, with much wind and snow, and
very cold. The wind variable between the north north-west and
north-east. We made our way west and by north till noone."


His abrupt transition from the fifth to the nineteenth of May
covers the time in which the mutiny occurred. Practically, his log
begins almost on the day that the ship's course was changed. In the
smooth concluding paragraph of this same log, to be cited later, he
passes over unmentioned the mutiny that occurred on the homeward
voyage. Judging him by the facts recorded in the accounts of the
voyage into Hudson's Bay, it is a fair assumption that in both of
these earlier mutinies Juet had a hand.

I wish that we could find the bond that held Hudson and Juet
together. That Juet could write, and that he understood the science
of navigation--although those were rare accomplishments among
seamen in his time--fail sufficiently to account for Hudson's
persistent employment of him. For my own part, I revert to my
theory of fatalism. It is my fancy that this "ancient man"--as he
is styled by one of his companions--was Hudson's evil genius; and I
class him with the most finely conceived character in Marryat's
most finely conceived romance: the pilot Schriften, in "The Phantom
Ship." Just as Schriften clung to the younger Van der Decken to
thwart him, so Juet seems to have clung to Hudson to thwart him;
and to take--in the last round between them--a leading part in
compassing Hudson's death.

One authority, and a very good authority, for the facts which Juet
suppressed concerning the third voyage is the historian Van
Meteren: who obtained them, there is good reason for believing,
directly from Hudson himself. In his "Historie der Niederlanden"
(1614) Van Meteren wrote: "This Henry Hudson left the Texel the
6th of April, 1609, and having doubled the Cape of Norway the 5th
of May, directed his course along the northern coasts toward Nova
Zembla. But he there found the sea as full of ice as he had found
it in the preceding year, so that he lost the hope of effecting
anything during the season. This circumstance, and the cold which
some of his men who had been in the East Indies could not bear,
caused quarrels among the crew, they being partly English, partly
Dutch; upon which the captain, Henry Hudson, laid before them two
propositions. The first of these was, to go to the coast of America
to the latitude of forty degrees. This idea had been suggested to
him by some letters and maps which his friend Captain Smith had
sent him from Virginia, and by which he informed him that there was
a sea leading into the western ocean to the north of the southern
English colony [Virginia]. Had this information been true
(experience goes as yet to the contrary), it would have been of
great advantage, as indicating a short way to India. The other
proposition was to direct their search to Davis's Straits. This
meeting with general approval, they sailed on the 14th of May, and
arrived, with a good wind, at the Faroe Islands, where they stopped
but twenty-four hours to supply themselves with fresh water. After
leaving these islands they sailed on till, on the 18th of July,
they reached the coast of Nova Francia under 44 degrees.... They
left that place on the 26th of July, and kept out at sea till the
3d of August, when they were again near the coast in 42 degrees of
latitude. Thence they sailed on till, on the 12th of August, they
reached the shore under 37° 45'. Thence they sailed along the shore
until we [sic] reached 40° 45', where they found a good entrance,
between two headlands, and thus entered on the 12th of September
into as fine a river as can be found, with good anchoring ground on
both sides."

That river, "as fine as can be found," was our own Hudson.

Van Meteren's account of the voyage, although not published until
the year 1614, was written very soon after Hudson's return--the
slip that he makes in using "we" points to the probability that he
copied directly from Hudson's log--and in it we have all that we
ever are likely to know about the causes which led to the change in
the "Half Moon's" course. For my own part, I believe that Hudson
did precisely what he had wanted to do from the start. The
prohibitory clause in his instructions, forbidding him to go upon
other than the course laid down for him, pointedly suggests that he
had expressed the desire--natural enough, since he twice had
searched vainly for a passage by Nova Zembla--to search westward
instead of eastward for a water-way to the Indies. As Van Meteren
states, authoritatively, he was encouraged to search in that
direction by the information given him by Captain John Smith
concerning a passage north of Virginia across the American
continent--a notion that Smith probably derived in the first
instance from Michael Lok's planisphere, which shows the continent
reduced to a mere strip in about the latitude of the river that
Hudson found; and that he very well might have conceived to be
confirmed by stories about a great sea not far westward (the great
lakes) which he heard from the Indians.

But the starting point of this geographical error is immaterial.
The important fact is that Hudson entertained it: and so was led to
offer for first choice to his mutinous crew that they should "go
to the coast of America in the latitude of forty degrees." His
readiness with that proposition, when the chance to make it came,
confirms my belief that his own desire was to sail westward, and
that he made the most of his opportunity. And the essential point,
after all, is not whether the mutiny forced him to change, or
merely gave him an excuse for changing, his ordered course: it is
that he was equal to the emergency when the mutiny came, and so
controlled it that--instead of going back, defeated of his purpose,
to Holland--he deliberately took the risk of personal loss that
attended breaking his contract and traversing his orders, and
continued on new lines his exploring voyage. It is indicative of
Hudson's character that he met that cast of fate against him most
resolutely; and most resolutely played up to it with a strong hand.


As the direct result of breaking his orders, Hudson was the
discoverer of our river--to which, therefore, his name properly has
been given--and also was the first navigator by whom our harbor
effectively was found. I use advisedly these precisely
differentiating terms. On the distinctions which they make rests
Hudson's claim to take practical precedence of Verrazano and of
Gomez, who sailed in past Sandy Hook nearly a hundred years ahead
of him; and of those shadowy nameless shipmen who in the
intervening time, until his coming, may have made our harbor one of
their stations--for refitting and watering--on their voyages from
and to Portugal and Spain.

The exploring work of John and of Sebastian Cabot, who sailed along
our coast, but who missed our harbor, does not come within my
range: save to note that Sebastian Cabot pretty certainly was one
of the several navigators, including Frobisher and Davis, who
entered Hudson's Strait before Hudson's time.

Verrazano was an Italian, sailing in the French service. Gomez was
a Portuguese, sailing in the Spanish service. Both sought a
westerly way to the Indies, and both sought it in the same
year--1524. Verrazano has left a report of his voyage, written
immediately upon his return to France; and with it a vaguely drawn
chart of the coasts which he explored. (It is my duty to add that
certain zealous historians have denounced his report as a forgery,
and his chart as a "fake"--a matter so much too large for
discussion here that I content myself with expressing the opinion
that these charges have not been sustained.) Gomez has left no
report of his voyage, but a partial account of it may be pieced
together from the maritime chronicles of his time. He also charted,
with an approximate accuracy, the lands which he coasted; and while
his chart has not been preserved in its original shape, there is
good reason for believing that we have it embodied in the
planisphere drawn by Juan Ribero, geographer to Charles V., in the
year 1529. On that planisphere the seaboard of the present states
of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island is called "the
land of Estevan Gomez."

Lacking the full report that Gomez presumably made of his voyage,
and lacking the original of his chart, it is impossible to decide
whether he did or did not pass through the Narrows and enter the
Upper Bay. Doctor Asher holds that he did make that passage; and
adds: "It is certain that the later Spanish seamen who followed in
his track in after years were familiar with the [Hudson] river, and
called it the Rio de Gamas." In support of this strong assertion he
cites the still-extant "Rutters," or "Routiers," of the period--the
ocean guide-books showing the distances from place to place,
marking convenient stations for watering and refitting, and
describing the entrances to rivers and to harbors--"from which we
learn," he declares, "that the Rio de Gamas, the name then
regularly applied to the Hudson on the charts of the time, was one
of these stages between New Foundland and the colonies of Central

  [Footnote 1: Asher mentions, in this connection, that
  "Nantucket Island also figures in some of these rutters under
  the name of the island of Juan Luis, or Juan Fernandez, and is
  recommended as a most convenient stage for those who, coming
  from Europe, wish to proceed to the West Indies by way of the

In regard to Verrazano--admitting his report to be genuine--the
fact that he did pass through the Narrows into the Upper Bay is not
open to dispute. He therefore must have seen--as, a little later,
Gomez may have seen--the true mouth of Hudson's river eighty-five
years before Hudson, by actual exploration of it, made himself its
discoverer. But Verrazano, by his own showing, came but a little
way into the Upper Bay--which he called a lake--and he made no
exploration of a practical sort of the harbor that he had found.

It is but simple justice to Verrazano and to Gomez to put on record
here, along with the story of Hudson's effective discovery, the
story of their ineffective finding. Fate was against them as
distinctly as it was with Hudson. They came under adverse
conditions, and they came too soon. Back of the explorer in the
French service there was not an alert power eager for colonial
expansion. Back of the explorer in the Spanish service there was a
power so busied with colonial expansion on a huge scale--in that
very year, 1524, Cortes was completing his conquest of Mexico, and
Pizarro was beginning his conquest of Peru--that a farther
enlargement of the colonization contract was impossible.


Therefore we may fall back upon the assured fact--in which I see
again the touch of fatalism--that not until Hudson came at the
right moment, and at the right moment gave an accurate account of
his explorations to a power that was ready immediately to colonize
the land that he had found, were our port and our river,
notwithstanding their earlier technical discovery, truly discovered
to the world. As for the river, it assuredly is Hudson's very own.


From Juet's log I make the following extracts, telling of the "Half
Moon's" approach to Sandy Hook and of her passage into the Lower

"The first of September, faire weather, the wind variable betweene
east and sooth; we steered away north north west. At noone we found
our height [a little north of Cape May] to bee 39 degrees 3
minutes.... The second, in the morning close weather, the winde at
south in the morning. From twelve untill two of the clocke we
steered north north west, and had sounding one and twentie fathoms;
and in running one glasse we had but sixteene fathoms, then
seventeene, and so shoalder and shoalder untill it came to twelve
fathoms. We saw a great fire but could not see the land. Then we
came to ten fathoms, whereupon we brought our tacks aboord, and
stood to the eastward east south east, foure glasses. Then the
sunne arose, and we steered away north againe, and saw the land
[the low region about Sandy Hook] from the west by north to the
north west by north, all like broken islands, and our soundings
were eleven and ten fathoms. Then we looft in for the shoare, and
faire by the shoare we had seven fathoms. The course along the land
we found to be north east by north. From the land which we had
first sight of, untill we came to a great lake of water [the Lower
Bay] as we could judge it to be, being drowned land, which made it
to rise like islands, which was in length ten leagues. The mouth
of that land hath many shoalds, and the sea breaketh on them as it
is cast out of the mouth of it. And from that lake or bay the land
lyeth north by east, and we had a great streame out of the bay; and
from thence our sounding was ten fathoms two leagues from the land.
At five of the clocke we anchored, being little winde, and rode in
eight fathoms water.... This night I found the land to hall the
compasse 8 degrees. For to the northward off us we saw high hils
[Staten Island and the Highlands]. For the day before we found not
above two degrees of variation. This is a very good land to fall
with, and a pleasant land to see.

"The third, the morning mystie, untill ten of the clocke. Then it
cleered, and the wind came to the south south east, so wee weighed
and stood to the northward. The land is very pleasant and high, and
bold to fall withal. At three of the clocke in the after noone, we
came to three great rivers [the Raritan, the Arthur Kill and the
Narrows]. So we stood along to the northermost [the Narrows],
thinking to have gone into it, but we found it to have a very
shoald barre before it, for we had but ten foot water. Then we cast
about to the southward, and found two fathoms, three fathoms, and
three and a quarter, till we came to the souther side of them; then
we had five and sixe fathoms, and anchored. So wee sent in our
boate to sound, and they found no lesse water than foure, five,
sixe, and seven fathoms, and returned in an houre and a halfe. So
we weighed and went in, and rode in five fathoms, oze ground, and
saw many salmons, and mullets, and rayes, very great. The height is
40 degrees 30 minutes."

That is the authoritative account of Hudson's great finding. I
have quoted it in full partly because of the thrilling interest
that it has for us; but more to show that the record of his
explorations--the "Half Moon's" log being written throughout with
the same definiteness and accuracy--gave what neither Gomez nor
Verrazano gave: clear directions for finding with certainty the
haven that he, and those earlier navigators, had found by chance.
On that fact, and on the other fact that his directions promptly
were utilized, rests his claim to be the practical discoverer of
the harbor of New York.

For more than a week the "Half Moon" lay in the Lower Bay and in
the Narrows. Then, on the eleventh of September, she passed fairly
beyond Staten Island and came out into the Upper Bay: and Hudson
saw the great river--which on that day became his river--stretching
broadly to the north. I can imagine that when he found that
wide waterway, leading from the ocean into the heart of the
continent--and found it precisely where his friend Captain John
Smith had told him he would find it, "under 40 degrees"--his hopes
were very high. The first part of the story being confirmed, it was
a fair inference that the second part would be confirmed; that
presently, sailing through the "strait" that he had entered, he
would come out, as Magellan had come out from the other strait,
upon the Pacific--with clear water before him to the coasts of

That glad hope must have filled his heart during the ensuing
fortnight; and even then it must have died out slowly through
another week--while the "Half Moon" worked her way northward as far
as where Albany now stands. Twice in the course of his voyage
inland--on September 14th, when his run was from Yonkers to
Peekskill--he reasonably may have believed that he was on the very
edge of his great discovery. As the river widened hugely into the
Tappan Sea, and again widened hugely into Haverstraw Bay, it well
may have seemed to him that he was come to the ocean outlet--and
that in a few hours more he would have the waters of the Pacific
beneath his keel. Then, as he passed through the Southern Gate of
the Highlands, and thence onward, his hope must have waned--until
on September 22d it vanished utterly away. Under that date Juet
wrote in his log: "This night, at ten of the clocke, our boat
returned in a showre of raine from sounding the river; and found it
to bee at an end for shipping to goe in."

That was the end of the adventure inland. Juet wrote on the 23d:
"At twelve of the clocke we weighed, and went downe two leagues";
and thereafter his log records their movements and their
doings--sometimes meeting with "loving people" with whom they had
friendly dealings; sometimes meeting and having fights with people
who were anything but loving--as the "Half Moon" dawdled slowly
down the stream. By the 2d of October they were come abreast of
about where Fort Lee now stands. There they had their last brush
with the savages, killing ten or twelve of them without loss on
their own side.

After telling about the fight, Juet adds: "Within a while after wee
got downe two leagues beyond that place and anchored in a bay
[north of Hoboken], cleere from all danger of them on the other
side of the river, where we saw a very good piece of ground [for
anchorage]. And hard by it there was a cliffe [Wiehawken] that
looked of the colour of a white greene, as though it were either
copper or silver myne. And I thinke it to be one of them, by the
trees that grow upon it. For they be all burned, and the other
places are greene as grasse. It is on that side of the river that
is called Manna-hata. There we saw no people to trouble us, and
rode quietly all night, but had much wind and raine."

In that entry the name Manna-hata was written for the first time,
and was applied, not to our island but to the opposite Jersey
shore. The explanation of Juet's record seems to be that the
Indians known as the Mannahattes dwelt--or that Juet thought that
they dwelt--on both sides of the river. That they did dwell on, and
that they did give their name to, our island of Manhattan are facts
absolutely established by the records of the ensuing three or four

During October 3d the "Half Moon" was storm-bound. On the 4th, Juet
records "Faire weather, and the wind at north north west, wee
weighed and came out of the river into which we had runne so
farre." Thence, through the Upper Bay and the Narrows, and across
the Lower Bay--with a boat out ahead to sound--they went onward
into the Sandy Hook channel. "And by twelve of the clocke we were
cleere of all the inlet. Then we took in our boat, and set our
mayne sayle and sprit sayle and our top sayles, and steered away
east south east, and south east by east, off into the mayne sea."

Juet's log continues and concludes--passing over unmentioned the
mutiny that occurred before the ship's course definitely was set
eastward--in these words: "We continued our course toward England,
without seeing any land by the way, all the rest of this moneth of
October. And on the seventh day of November (stilo novo), being
Saturday, by the grace of God we safely arrived in the range of
Dartmouth, in Devonshire, in the yeere 1609."[1]

  [Footnote 1: From Mr. Brodhead's "History of the State of New
  York" I reproduce the following note, that tells of the little
  "Half Moon's" dismal ending: "The subsequent career of the
  'Half Moon' may, perhaps, interest the curious. The small 'ship
  book,' before referred to, which I found, in 1841, in the
  Company's archives at Amsterdam, besides recording the return
  of the yacht on the 15th of July, 1610, states that on the 2d
  of May, 1611, she sailed, in company with other vessels, to the
  East Indies, under the command of Laurens Reael; and that on
  the 6th of March, 1615, she was 'wrecked and lost' on the
  island of Mauritius."]

From the standpoint of the East India Company, Hudson's quest upon
our coast and into our river--the most fruitful of all his
adventurings, since the planting of our city was the outcome of
it--was a failure. Hessel Gerritz (1613) wrote: "All that he did
in the west in 1609 was to exchange his merchandise for furs in
New France." And Hudson himself, no doubt, rated his great
accomplishment--on which so large a part of his fame rests
enduringly--as a mere waste of energy and of time. I hope that he
knows about, and takes a comforting pride in--over there in the
Shades--the great city which owes its founding to that seemingly
bootless voyage!


What happened to Hudson when he reached Dartmouth has been
recorded; and, broadly, why it happened. Hessel Gerritz wrote that
"he ... returned safely to England, where he was accused of having
undertaken a voyage to the detriment of his own country." Van
Meteren wrote: "A long time elapsed, through contrary winds, before
the Company could be informed of the arrival of the ship [the "Half
Moon"] in England. Then they ordered the ship and crew to return
[to Holland] as soon as possible. But when they were going to do
so, Henry Hudson and the other Englishmen of the ship were
commanded by government there not to leave England but to serve
their own country." Obviously, international trade jealousies were
at the root of the matter. Conceivably, as I have stated, the
Muscovy Company, a much interested party, was the prime mover in
the seizure of Hudson out of the Dutch service. But we only know
certainly that he was seized out of that service: with the result
that he and Fate came to grips again; and that Fate's hold on him
did not loosen until Death cast it off.

Hudson's fourth, and last, voyage was not made for the Muscovy
Company; but those chiefly concerned in promoting it were members
of that Company, and two of them were members of the first
importance in the direction of its affairs. The adventure was set
forth, mainly, by Sir Dudley Digges, Sir Thomas Smith, and Master
John Wolstenholme--who severally are commemorated in the Arctic by
Smith's Sound, Cape Digges, and Cape Wolstenholme--and the
expedition got away from London in "the barke 'Discovery'" on April
17, 1610.

Purchas wrote a nearly contemporary history of this voyage that
included three strictly contemporary documents: two of them
certainly written aboard the "Discovery"; and the third either
written aboard the ship on the voyage home, as is possible, or not
long after the ship had arrived in England.

The first of these documents is "An Abstract of the Journal of
Master Henry Hudson." This is Hudson's own log, but badly
mutilated. It begins on the day of sailing, April 17th, and ends on
the ensuing August 3d. There are many gaps in it, and the block of
more than ten months is gone. The missing portions, presumably,
were destroyed by the mutineers.

The second document is styled by Purchas: "A Note Found in the
Deske of Thomas Wydowse, Student in the Mathematickes, hee being
one of them who was put into the Shallop." Concerning this poor
"student in the mathematickes" Prickett testified before the court:
"Thomas Widowes was thrust out of the ship into the shallop, but
whether he willed them take his keys and share his goods, to save
his life, this examinate knoweth not." Practically, this is an
assurance that he did make such an offer; and his despairing
resistance to being outcast is implied also in the pathetic note
following his name in the Trinity House list of the abandoned ones:
"put away in great distress." There is nothing to show how he
happened to be aboard the "Discovery," nor who he was. Possibly he
may have been a son of the "Richard Widowes, goldsmith," who is
named in the second charter (1609) of the Virginia Company. His
"Note"--cited in full later on--exhibits clearly the evil
conditions that obtained aboard the "Discovery"; and especially
makes clear that Juet's mutinous disposition began to be manifested
at a very early stage of the voyage.

The third document is the most important, in that it gives--or
professes to give--a complete history of the whole voyage. Purchas
styles it: "A Larger Discourse of the Same Voyage, and the Successe
Thereof, written by Abacucks Prickett, a servant of Sir Dudley
Digges, whom the Mutineers had Saved in hope to procure his Master
to worke their Pardon." Purchas wrote that "this report of Prickett
may happely bee suspected by some as not so friendly to Hudson."
Being essentially a bit of special pleading, intended to save his
own neck and the necks of his companions, it has rested always
under the suspicion that Purchas cast upon it. Nor is it relieved
from suspicion by the fact that it is in accord with his sworn
testimony, and with the sworn testimony of his fellows, before the
High Court of Admiralty when he and they were on trial for their
lives as mutineers. The imperfect record of this trial merely shows
that Prickett and all of the other witnesses--with the partial
exception of Byleth--told substantially the same story; and--as
they all equally were in danger of hanging--that story most
naturally was in their own favor and in much the same words. From
the Trinity House record it appears that Prickett was "a land man
put in by the Adventurers"; and in the court records he is
described, most incongruously, as a "haberdasher"--facts which
place him, as his own very remarkable narrative places him, on a
level much above that of the ordinary seamen of Hudson's time.

Dr. Asher's comment upon Prickett's "Discourse," is a just
determination of its value: "Though the paper he has left us is in
form a narrative, the author's real intention was much more to
defend the mutineers than to describe the voyage. As an apologetic
essay, the 'Larger Discourse' is extremely clever. It manages to
cast some, not too much, shadow upon Hudson himself. The main fault
of the mutiny is thrown upon some men who had ceased to live when
the ship reached home. Those who were then still alive are
presented as guiltless, some as highly deserving. Prickett's
account of the mutiny and of its cause has often been suspected.
Even Purchas himself and Fox speak of it with distrust. But
Prickett is the only eye-witness that has left us an account of
these events; and we can therefore not correct his statements,
whether they be true or false."

My fortunate finding of contemporary documents, unknown to Hudson's
most authoritative historian, has produced other "eye-witnesses"
who have "left us an account of these events"; but, obviously,
their accounts--so harmoniously in agreement--do not affect the
soundness of Dr. Asher's conclusions. The net result of it all
being, as I have written, that our whole knowledge of Hudson's
murder is only so much of the truth as his murderers were agreed
upon to tell.


In the ruling of that, his last, adventure all of Hudson's malign
stars seem to have been in the ascendant. His evil genius, Juet,
again sailed with him as mate; and out of sheer good-will,
apparently, he took along with him in the "Discovery" another
villainous personage, one Henry Greene--who showed his gratitude
for benefits conferred by joining eagerly with Juet in the mutiny
that resulted in the murder of their common benefactor.

Hudson, therefore, started on that dismal voyage with two
firebrands in his ship's company--and ship's companies of those
days, without help from firebrands, were like enough to explode
into mutiny of their own accord. I must repeat that the sailor-men
of Hudson's time--and until long after Hudson's time--were little
better than dangerous brutes; and the savage ferocity that was in
them was kept in check only by meeting it with a more savage
ferocity on the part of their superiors.

At the very outset of the voyage trouble began. Hudson wrote on
April 22, when he was in the mouth of the Thames, off the Isle of
Sheppey: "I caused Master Coleburne to bee put into a pinke bound
for London, with my letter to the Adventurars imparting the reason
why I put him out of the ship." He does not add what that reason
was;[1] nor is there any reference in what remains of his log to
farther difficulties with his crew. The newly discovered testimony
of the mutineers, cited later, refers only to the final mutiny.
Prickett, therefore--in part borne out by the "Note" of poor
Widowes--is our authority for the several mutinous outbreaks
which occurred during the voyage; and Prickett wrote with a
vagueness--using such phrases as "this day" and "this time,"
without adding a date--that helped him to muddle his narrative in
the parts which we want to have, but which he did not want to have,
most clear.

  [Footnote 1: Captain Lake Fox has the following: "In the road
  of Lee, in the river Thames, he [Hudson] caused Master
  Coalbrand to be set in a pinke to be carried back againe to
  London. This Coalbrand was in every way held to be a better man
  than himselfe, being put in by the adventurers as his
  assistant, who envying the same (he having the command in his
  own hands) devised this course, to send himselfe the same way,
  though in a farre worse place, as hereafter followeth."
  Prickett tells only: "Thwart of Sheppey, our Master sent Master
  Colbert back to the owners with his letter."]

Prickett's first record of trouble refers to some period in July,
at which time the "Discovery" was within the mouth of Hudson's
Strait and was beset with ice. It reads: "Some of our men this day
fell sicke, I will not say it was for feare, although I saw small
signe of other griefe." His next entry seems to date a fortnight or
so later, when the ship was farther within the strait and
temporarily ice-bound: "Here our Master was in despaire, and (as he
told me after) he thought he should never have got out of this ice,
but there have perished. Therefore he brought forth his card
[chart] and showed all the company that hee was entered above an
hundred leagues farther than ever any English was: and left it to
their choice whether they should proceed any farther--yea or nay.
Whereupon some were of one minde and some of another, some wishing
themselves at home, and some not caring where so they were out of
the ice. But there were some who then spake words which were
remembered a great while after." This record shows that Hudson had
with him a chart of the strait--presumably based on Weymouth's
earlier (1602) exploration of it--with the discovery of which he
popularly is credited; and, as Weymouth sailed into the strait a
hundred leagues, his assertion that he had "entered a hundred
leagues farther than ever any English was" obviously is an error.
But the more important matter made clear by Prickett (admitting
that Prickett told the truth) is that a dangerously ugly feeling
was abroad among the crew nearly a year before that feeling
culminated in the final tragedy.

Prickett concludes this episode by showing that Hudson's eager
desire to press on prevailed: "After many words to no purpose, to
worke we must on all hands, to get ourselves out and to cleere our

And so the "Discovery" went onward--sometimes working her way
through the ice, sometimes sailing freely in clear water--until
Hudson triumphantly brought her, as Purchas puts it, into "a
spacious sea, wherein he sayled above a hundred leagues South,
confidently proud that he had won the passage"! It was his resolve
to push on until he could be sure that he truly "had won the
passage" that won him to his death.

When they had entered that spacious sea--rounding the cape which
then received its name of Cape Wolstenholme--they came to where
sorrel and scurvy-grass grew plentifully, and where there was
"great store of fowle." Prickett records that the crew urged Hudson
"to stay a daye or two in this place, telling him what refreshment
might there bee had. But by no means would he stay, who was not
pleased with the motion." This refers to August 3d, the day on
which Hudson's log ends. Prickett adds, significantly: "So we left
the fowle, and lost our way downe to the South West."

By September, the "Discovery" was come into James Bay, at the
southern extremity of Hudson's Bay; and then it was that the
serious trouble began. By Prickett's showing, there seems to have
been a clash of opinions in regard to the ship's course; and of so
violent a sort that strong measures were required to maintain
discipline. The outcome was that "our Master took occasion to
revive old matters, and to displace Robert Juet from being his
mate, and the boatswaine from his place, for the words spoken in
the first great bay of ice."

For what happened at that time we have a better authority than
Prickett. The "Note" of Thomas Widowes covers this episode; and, in
covering it, throws light upon the mutinous conditions which
prevailed increasingly as the voyage went on. As the only
contemporary document giving Hudson's side of the matter it is of
first importance--we may be very sure that it would not have come
down to us had it been discovered by the mutineers--and I cite it
here in full as Purchas prints it:

"The tenth day of September, 1610, after dinner, our Master called
all the Companie together, to heare and beare witnesse of the abuse
of some of the Companie (it having beene the request of Robert
Juet), that the Master should redresse some abuses and slanders, as
hee called them, against this Juet: which thing after the Master
had examined and heard with equitie what hee could say for
himselfe, there were proued so many and great abuses, and mutinous
matters against the Master, and [the] action by Juet, that there
was danger to have suffered them longer: and it was fit time to
punish and cut off farther occasions of the like mutinies.

"It was proved to his face, first with Bennet Mathew, our Trumpet,
upon our first sight of Island [Iceland], and he confest, that he
supposed that in the action would be man slaughter, and proue
bloodie to some.

"Secondly, at our coming from Island, in hearing of the Companie,
hee did threaten to turne the head of the Ship home from the
action, which at that time was by our Master wisely pacified,
hoping of amendment.

"Thirdly, it was deposed by Philip Staffe, our Carpenter, and
Ladlie Arnold [Arnold Ludlow] to his face upon the holy Bible, that
hee perswaded them to keepe Muskets charged, and Swords readie in
their Cabbins, for they should be charged with shot ere the Voyage
was over.

"Fourthly, wee being pestered in the Ice, hee had used words
tending to mutinie, discouragement, and slander of the action,
which easily took effect in those that were timorous; and had not
the Master in time preuented, it might easily have overthrowne the
Voyage: and now lately being imbayed in a deepe Bay, which the
Master had desire to see, for some reasons to himselfe knowne, his
word tended altogether to put the Companie into a fray [fear] of
extremitie, by wintering in cold: Jesting at our Master's hope to
see Bantam by Candlemas.

"For these and diuers other base slanders against the Master, hee
was deposed, and Robert Bylot [Bileth, or Byleth], who had showed
himself honestly respecting the good of the action, was placed in
his stead the Masters Mate.

"Also Francis Clement the Boatson, at this time was put from his
Office, and William Wilson, a man thought more fit, preferred to
his place. This man had basely carried himselfe to our Master and
the action.

"Also Adrian Mooter was appointed Boatsons mate: and a promise by
the Master, that from this day Juats wages should remain to Bylot,
and the Boatsons overplus of wages should bee equally diuided
betweene Wilson and one John King, to the owners good liking, one
of the Quarter Masters, who had very well carryed themselves to the
furtherance of the businesse.

"Also the Master promised, if the Offenders yet behaued themselves
henceforth honestly, hee would be a means for their good, and that
hee would forget injuries, with other admonitions."

Hudson's fame is the brighter for this testament of the poor
"Student in the Mathematickes" whose loyalty to his commander cost
him his life. At times, Hudson seems to have temporized with his
mutinous crews. In this grave crisis he did not temporize. For
cause, he disrated his chief officers: and so asserted in that
desolate place, as fearlessly as he would have asserted it in an
English harbor, that aboard his ship his will was law.

But his strong action only scotched the mutiny. Prickett's
narrative of the doings of the ensuing seven weeks deals with what
he implies was purposeless sailing up and down James Bay. He casts
reflections upon Hudson's seamanship in such phrases as "our Master
would have the anchor up, against the mind of all who knew what
belongeth thereto"; and in all that he writes there is a
perceptible note of resentment of the Master's doings that reflects
the mutinous feeling on board. Especially does this feeling show in
his account of their settling into winter quarters: "Having spent
three moneths in a labyrinth without end, being now the last of
October, we went downe to the East, to the bottome of the Bay; but
returned without speeding of that we went for. The next day we went
to the South and South West, and found a place, whereunto we
brought our ship and haled her aground. And this was the first of
November. By the tenth thereof we were frozen in."

And then the Arctic night closed down upon them: and with it the
certainty that they were prisoners in that desolate freezing
darkness until the sun should come again and set them free.


Nerves go to pieces in the Arctic. Captain Back, who commanded the
"Terror" on her first northern voyage (1836), has told how there
comes, as the icy night drags on, "a weariness of heart, a blank
feeling, which gets the better of the whole man"; and Colonel
Brainard, of the Greely expedition, wrote: "Take any set of men,
however carefully selected, and let them be thrown as intimately
together as are the members of an exploring expedition--hearing the
same voices, seeing the same faces, day after day--and they will
soon become weary of one another's society and impatient of one
another's faults."

The Greely expedition--composed of twenty-five men, of whom
only seven were found alive by the rescue party--in many ways
parallels, and pointedly illustrates, the Hudson expedition.
There was dissension in Greely's command almost from the start.
Surgeon Pavy's angry protests compelled the sending back in
the "Proteus"--paralleling the sending back of Coleburne
in the pink--of one member of the company; and Lieutenant
Kislingbury--paralleling Juet's insubordination--objected so
strongly to Greely's regulations that he gave in his resignation
and tried, unsuccessfully, to overtake the "Proteus" and go home
in her. Being returned to Fort Conger, he was not restored to his
rank, and remained--as Juet remained after being superseded--a

One of the commentators on the expedition thus has summarized the
conditions of that dreadful winter of 1883-84: "It was now
October, and the situation of the explorers was becoming desperate,
but the bickerings seem to have increased with their peril. As the
weary days of starvation and death wore on, nearly every member of
the party developed a grievance. Israel was reprimanded by Greely
for falsely accusing Brainard of unfairness in the distribution of
articles. Bender annoyed the whole camp by his complaints regarding
his bed-clothes; Pavy and Henry accused Fredericks, the cook, of
not giving them their fair share of food; and Pavy and Kislingbury
had a quarrel that barely stopped short of blows. Then Jewell was
accused of selecting the heaviest dishes of those issued.... Bender
and Schneider had a fist fight in their sleeping bag; and on one
occasion Bender was so violent that a general mutiny was imminent,
and Greely says in his written record:

'If I could have got Long's gun I would have killed him.' Bender
brutally treated Ellison, who was very weak; and Schneider abused
Whistler as he was dying--the second occurrence of the kind.... The
thefts of food by Henry, and his execution, formed a culmination to
the dissensions, though it did not entirely stop them. Never was
there a more terrible example of the demoralizing effects of the
conditions of Arctic life and privations upon men who in other
circumstances were able to dwell at peace with their fellows."


Out of those conditions came like results aboard Hudson's ship:
discontent developing into insubordination; hatred of the
commander; hatred of each other; petty squabblings leading on to
tragedies--as minor ills were magnified into catastrophes and
little injuries into deadly wrongs. Strictly in keeping with the
mean traditions of the Arctic is the fact that the point of
departure of the final mutiny was a wrangle that arose over the
ownership of "a gray cloth gowne."

Prickett records: "About the middle of this moneth of November dyed
John Williams our Gunner. God pardon the Masters uncharitable
dealing with this man. Now for that I am come to speake of him, out
of whose ashes (as it were) that unhappie deed grew which brought a
scandall upon all that are returned home, and upon the action
itself, the multitude (like the dog) running after the stone, but
not at the caster; therefore, not to wronge the living nor slander
the dead, I will (by the leave of God) deliver the truth as neere
as I can."

Prickett's deliverance of the truth leaves much to be desired.
Without giving any information in regard to Hudson's "uncharitable
dealing" with the gunner, he takes a fresh departure in these
words: "You shall understand that our Master kept (in his house at
London) a young man named Henrie Greene, borne in Kent, of
worshipfull parents, but by his leud life and conversation hee had
lost the good will of all his frinds, and had spent all that hee
had. This man our Master would have to sea with him because hee
could write well.... This Henrie Greene was not set down in the
owners booke, nor any wages for him.... At Island the Surgeon and
hee fell out in Dutch, and hee beat him ashoare in English, which
set all the Companie in a rage soe that wee had much adoe to get
the Surgeon aboord. [This curiously parallels the fight between
Surgeon Pavy and Lieutenant Kislingbury] ... Robert Juet, (the
Masters Mate) would needs burne his finger in the embers, and tolde
the Carpenter a long tale (when hee was drunke) that our Master had
brought in Greene to cracke his credit that should displease him:
which wordes came to the Masters eares, who when hee understood it,
would have gone back to Island, when hee was fortie leagues from
thence, to have sent home his Mate Robert Juet in a fisherman. But,
being otherwise perswaded, all was well.... Now when our Gunner was
dead, and (as the order is in such cases) if the Company stand in
neede of any thing that belonged to the man deceased, then it is
brought to the mayne mast, and there sold to them that will give
moste for the same. This Gunner had a gray cloth gowne, which
Greene prayed the Master to friend him so much as to let him have
it, paying for it as another would give. The Master saith hee
should, and thereupon hee answered some, that sought to have it,
that Greene should have it, and none else, and soe it rested.

"Now out of season and time the Master calleth the Carpenter to
goe in hand with an house on shoare, which at the beginning our
Master would not heare, when it might have been done. The Carpenter
told him, that the snow and froste were such, as hee neither could
nor would goe in hand with such worke. Which when our Master heard,
hee ferreted him out of his cabbin to strike him, calling him by
many foule names, and threatening to hang him. The Carpenter told
him that hee knew what belonged to his place better than himselfe,
and that he was no house carpenter. So this passed, and the house
was (after) made with much labour, but to no end. The next day
after the Master and the Carpenter fell out, the Carpenter took his
peece and Henrie Greene with him, for it was an order that none
should goe out alone, but one with a peece and another with a pike.
This did move the Master soe much the more against Henrie Greene,
that Robert Billot his Mate [who had been promoted to Juet's place]
must have the gowne, and had it delivered unto him; which when
Henrie Greene saw he challenged the Masters promise [to him]. But
the Master did so raile on Greene, with so many words of disgrace,
telling him that all his friends would not trust him with twenty
shillings, and therefore why should hee. As for wages hee had none,
nor none should have if hee did not please him well. Yet the Master
had promised him to make his wages as good as any mans in the ship;
and to have him one of the Princes guard when we came home. But you
shall see how the devil out of this soe wrought with Greene that he
did the Master what mischiefe hee could in seeking to discredit
him, and to thrust him and many other honest men out of the ship in
the end. To speake of all our trouble in this time of Winter (which
was so colde, as it lamed the most of our Companie and my selfe
doe yet feele it) would bee too tedious."

That is all that Prickett tells about their wintering; but what he
leaves untold, as "too tedious," easily may be filled in. Beginning
with that brabble over the "gray cloth gowne," there must have gone
on in Hudson's party the same bickerings and wranglings that went
on in Greely's party, and the same development of small animosities
into burning hatreds. And it all, with Hudson's people, must have
been rougher and fiercer and deadlier than it was with Greely's
people: because Hudson's crew was of a time when sea-men, for
cause, were called sea-wolves; while Greely's crew was the better
(yet exhibited scant evidence of it) by an additional two centuries
and a half of civilization, and was made up (though with little to
show for it) of picked men.


The end came in the spring-time. Through the winter the party had
"such store of fowle," and later had for a while so good a supply
of fish, that starvation was staved off. When the ice broke up,
about the middle of June, Hudson sailed from his winter quarters
and went out a little way into Hudson's Bay. There they were caught
and held in the floating ice--with their stores almost exhausted,
and with no more fowl nor fish to be had. Then the nip of hunger
came; and with it came openly the mutiny that secretly had been
fermenting through those months of cold and gloom.

Prickett writes: "Being thus in the ice on Saturday, the one and
twentieth of June, at night, Wilson the boat swayne, and Henry
Greene, came to mee lying (in my cabbin) lame, and told mee that
they and the rest of their associates would shift the company and
turne the Master and all the sicke men into the shallop, and let
them shift for themselves. For there was not fourteen daies
victuall left for all the company, at that poore allowance they
were at, and that there they lay, the Master not caring to goe one
way or other: and that they had not eaten any thing these three
dayes, and therefore were resolute, either to mend or end, and what
they had begun they would goe through with it, or dye."

According to his own account, Prickett made answer to this precious
pair of scoundrels that he "marvelled to heare so much from them,
considering that they were married men, and had wives and
children, and that for their sakes they should not commit so foule
a thing in the sight of God and man as that would bee"; to which
Greene replied that "he knew the worst, which was, to be hanged
when hee came home, and therefore of the two he would rather be
hanged at home than starved abroad." With that deliverance "Henry
Greene went his way, and presently came Juet, who, because he was
an ancient man, I hoped to have found some reason in him. But hee
was worse than Henry Greene, for he sware plainly that he would
justifie this deed when he came home."

More of the conspirators came to Prickett to urge him to join them
in their intended crime. We have his weak word for it that he
refused, and that he tried to stay them; to which he weakly adds:
"I hoped that some one or other would give some notice, either to
the Carpenter [or to] John King or the Master." That he did not try
to give "some notice" himself is the blackest count against him.
The just inference may be drawn from his narrative, as a whole,
that he was a liar; and from this particular section of it the
farther inference may be drawn that he was a coward.

In the dawn of the Sunday morning the outbreak came. Prickett tells
that it began by clapping the hatch over John King (one of the
faithful men), who had gone down into the hold for water; and
continues: "In the meane time Henrie Greene and another went to the
carpenter [Philip Staffe] and held him with a talke till the Master
came out of his cabbin (which hee soone did); then came John Thomas
and Bennet before him, while Wilson bound his arms behind him. He
asked them what they meant. They told him he should know when he
was in the shallop. Now Juet, while this was a-doing, came to John
King into the hold, who was provided for him, for he had got a
sword of his own, and kept him at a bay, and might have killed him,
but others came to helpe him, and so he came up to the Master. The
Master called to the Carpenter, and told him that he was bound, but
I heard no answer he made. Now Arnold Lodlo and Michael Bute rayled
at them, and told them their knaverie would show itselfe. Then was
the shallop haled up to the ship side, and the poore sicke and lame
men were called upon to get them out of their cabbins into the

"The Master called to me, who came out of my cabbin as well as I
could, to the hatch way to speake with him: where, on my knees, I
besought them, for the love of God, to remember themselves, and to
doe as they would be done unto. They bade me keepe myselfe well,
and get me into my cabbin; not suffering the Master to speake with
me. But when I came into my cabbin againe, hee called to me at the
horne which gave light into my cabbin, and told me that Juet would
overthrow us all; nay (said I) it is that villaine Henrie Greene,
and I spake it not softly. Now was the Carpenter at libertie, who
asked them if they would bee hanged when they came home: and, as
for himselfe, hee said, hee would not stay in the ship unless they
would force him. They bade him goe then, for they would not stay

"Now were all the poore men in the shallop, whose names are as
followeth: Henrie Hudson, John Hudson, Arnold Lodlo, Sidrack Faner,
Philip Staffe, Thomas Woodhouse or Wydhouse, Adam Moore, Henrie
[sic] King, Michael Bute. The Carpenter got of them a peece, and
powder, and shot, and some pikes, an iron pot, with some meale,
and other things. They stood out of the ice, the shallop being
fast to the sterne of the shippe, and so (when they were nigh out,
for I cannot say they were cleane out) they cut her head fast from
the sterne of our ship, then out with their top sayles, and toward
the east they stood in a cleere sea.

"In the end they took in their top sayles, righted their helme, and
lay under their fore sayle till they had ransacked and searched all
places in the ship. In the hold they found one of the vessels of
meale whole, and the other halfe spent, for wee had but two; wee
found also two firkins of batter, some twentie seven pieces of
porke, halfe a bushell of pease; but in the Masters cabbin we found
two hundred of bisket cakes, a pecke of meale, of beere to the
quantitie of a butt, one with another. Now it was said that the
shallop was come within sight, they let fall the main sayle, and
out with their top sayles, and fly as from an enemy. Then I prayed
them yet to remember themselves; but William Wilson (more than the
rest) would heare of no such matter. Comming nigh the east shore
they cast about, and stood to the west and came to an iland and
anchored.... Heere we lay that night, and the best part of the next
day, in all which time we saw not the shallop, or ever after."

That is the story of Hudson's murder as we get it from his
murderers; and even from Prickett's biased narrative so complete a
case is made out against the mutineers that there is comfort in
knowing that some of them, and the worst of them, came quickly to
their just reward.


A month later, July 28, a halt was made in the mouth of Hudson's
Strait to search for "fowle" for food on the homeward voyage. There
"savages" were encountered, seemingly of so friendly a nature that
on the day following the first meeting with them a boat's crew--of
which Prickett was one--went ashore unarmed. Then came a sudden
attack. Prickett himself was set upon in the boat--of which, "being
lame," he had been left keeper--by a savage whom he managed to
kill. What happened to the others he thus tells:

"Whiles I was thus assaulted in the boat, our men were set upon on
the shoare. John Thomas and William Wilson had their bowels cut,
and Michael Perse and Henry Greene, being mortally wounded, came
tumbling into the boat together. When Andrew Moter saw this medley,
hee came running downe the rockes and leaped into the sea, and so
swamme to the boat, hanging on the sterne thereof, till Michael
Perse took him in, who manfully made good the head of the boat
against the savages, that pressed sore upon us. Now Michael Perse
had got an hatchet, wherewith I saw him strike one of them, that he
lay sprawling in the sea. Henry Greene crieth _Coragio_, and layeth
about him with his truncheon. I cryed to them to cleere the boat,
and Andrew Moter cryed to bee taken in. The savages betooke them to
their bowes and arrowes, which they sent amongst us, wherewith
Henry Greene was slaine out-right, and Michael Perse received many
wounds, and so did the rest. Michael Perse cleereth [unfastened]
the boate, and puts it from the shoare, and helpeth Andrew Moter
in; but in turning of the boat I received a cruell wound in my
backe with an arrow. Michael Perse and Andrew Moter rowed the boate
away, which, when the savages saw, they ranne to their boats, and I
feared they would have launched them to have followed us, but they
did not, and our ship was in the middle of the channel and could
not see us.

"Now, when they had rowed a good way from the shoare, Michael Perse
fainted, and could row no more. Then was Andrew Moter driven to
stand in the boat head, and waft to the ship, which at first saw us
not, and when they did they could not tell what to make of us, but
in the end they stood for us, and so tooke us up. Henry Greene was
throwne out of the boat into the sea, and the rest were had
aboard, the savage [with whom Prickett had fought] being yet alive,
yet without sense. But they died all there that day, William Wilson
swearing and cursing in most fearefull manner. Michael Perse lived
two dayes after, and then died. Thus you have heard the tragicall
end of Henry Greene and his mates, whom they called captaine, these
four being the only lustie men in all the ship."

[Illustration: AN ASTROLABIE, 1596.

I am glad that Prickett got "a cruell wound in the backe." Were it
not that by the killing of him we should have lost his narrative, I
should wish that that weak villain had been killed along with the
stronger ones. They were strong. It was a brave fight that they
made; and Henry Greene's last recorded word, "Coragio!" was worthy
of the lips of a better man. But he and the others eminently
deserved the death that the savages gave them, and it is good to
know that Hudson's murder so soon was avenged. Juet's equally
exemplary punishment, equally deserved, came a little later. On the
homeward voyage the whole company got to the very edge, and Juet
passed beyond the edge, of starvation. When the ship was only sixty
or seventy leagues from Ireland, where she made her landfall,
Prickett tells that he "dyed for meere want."

What befell the survivors of the "Discovery's" crew, on the ship's
return to England, has remained until now unknown; and even now the
account of them is inconclusive. In the Latin edition of the year
1613 of his "Detectio Freti" Hessel Gerritz wrote: "They exposed
Hudson and the other officers in a boat on the open sea, and
returned into their country. There they have been thrown into
prison for their crime, and will be kept in prison until their
captain shall be safely brought home. For that purpose some ships
have been sent out last year by the late Prince of Wales and by the
Directors of the Moscovia Company, about the return of which
nothing as yet has been heard."

For three hundred years that statement of fact has ended Hudson's
story. The fragmentary documents which I have been so fortunate as
to obtain from the Record Office carry it a little, only a little,
farther. Unhappily they stop short--giving no assurance that the
mutineers got to the gallows that they deserved. All that they
prove is that the few survivors were brought to trial: charged with
having put the master of their ship, and others, "into a shallop,
without food, drink, fire, clothing, or any necessaries, and then
maliciously abandoning them: so that they came thereby to their
death, and miserably perished."

There, unfinished, the record ends. What penalty, or that any
penalty, was exacted of those who survived to be tried for Hudson's
murder remains unknown. Their ignoble fate is hidden in a sordid
darkness: fitly in contrast with his noble fate--that lies retired
within a glorious mystery.


Hudson has no cause to quarrel with the rating that has been fixed
for him in the eternal balances. All that he lost (or seemed to
lose) in life has been more than made good to him in the flowing of
the years since he fought out with Fate his last losing round.

In his River and Strait and Bay he has such monuments set up before
the whole world as have been awarded to only one other navigator.
And they are his justly. Before his time, those great waterways,
and that great inland sea, were mere hazy geographical concepts.
After his time they were clearly defined geographical facts. He
did--and those who had seen them before him did not--make them
effectively known. Here, in this city of New York--which owes to
him its being--he has a monument of a different and of a nobler
sort. Here, assuredly, down through the coming ages his memory will
be honored actively, his name will be in men's mouths ceaselessly,
so long as the city shall endure.

And I hold that Hudson's fame, as a most brave explorer and as a
great discoverer, is not dimmed by the fact that up to a certain
point he followed in other men's footsteps; nor do I think that his
glory is lessened by his seeming predestination to go on fixed
lines to a fixed end. On the contrary, I think that his fame is
brightened by his willingness to follow, that he might--as he
did--surpass his predecessors; and that his glory is increased by
the resolute firmness with which he played up to his destiny.
Holding fast to his great purpose to find a passage to the East by
the North, he compelled every one of Fate's deals against
him--until that last deal--to turn in his favor; and even in that
last deal he won a death so heroically woful that exalted pity for
him, almost as much as admiration for his great achievements, has
kept his fame through the centuries very splendidly alive.



In an article entitled "English Ships in the Time of James I.," by
R.G. Marsden, M.A., in Volume XIX of the Transactions of the Royal
Historical Society, I came upon this entry: "'Discovery' (or
'Hopewell,' or 'Good Hope') Hudson's ship on his last voyage;
Baffin also sailed in her." A list of references to manuscript
records followed; and one of the entries, relating to the High
Court of Admiralty, read: "Exam. 42. 25 Jan. 1611. trial of some of
the crew for the murder of Hudson."

   Note--The varying spelling, most obvious in proper names,
   follows that of the documents.

As I have stated elsewhere, none of the historians who has dealt
with matters relating to Hudson has told what became of his
murderers when they returned to England. Hessel Gerritz alone has
given the information (1613, two years after the event) that they
"were to be" put on trial. Whether they were, or were not, put on
trial has remained unknown. Any one who has engaged in the
fascinating pursuit of elusive historical truth will understand,
therefore, my warm delight, and my warm gratitude to Mr. Marsden,
when this clew to hitherto unpublished facts concerning Hudson was
placed in my hands.

Following it has not led me so far as, in my first enthusiasm, I
hoped that it would lead me. The search that I have caused to be
made in the Record Office, in London, has not brought to light even
all of the documents referred to by Mr. Marsden. The record of the
trial is incomplete; and, most regrettably, the most essential of
all the documents is lacking: the judgment of the Court. So far as
the mutineers are concerned, all that these documents prove is that
they actually were brought to trial: what penalty was put upon
them, or if any penalty was put upon them, still remains unknown.

But in another way these documents do possess a high value, and are
of an exceptional interest, in that they exhibit the sworn
testimony of six eye-witnesses to the fact as to the circumstances
of Hudson's out-casting. Five of these witnesses now are produced
(in print) for the first time. The sixth, Abacuck Prickett, was the
author of the "Larger Discourse" that hitherto has been the sole
source of information concerning the final mutiny on board the
"Discovery." That Prickett's sworn testimony and unsworn narrative
substantially are in agreement, as they are, is not surprising;
nor does such agreement appreciably affect the truth of either of
them. Sworn or unsworn, Prickett was not a person from whom pure
truth could be expected when, as in this case, he was trying to
tell a story that would save him from being hanged. Neither is the
corroboration of Prickett's story by the five newly produced
witnesses--they equally being in danger of hanging--in itself
convincing. But certain of the details (e.g., the door between
Hudson's cabin and the hold) brought out in this new testimony,
together with the way in which it all hangs together, does raise
the probability that the crew of the "Discovery" had more than a
colorable grievance against Hudson, and does imply that Prickett's
obviously biased narrative may be less far from the truth than
heretofore it has been held to be.

The summing up of the Trinity House examination gives the crux of
the matter: "They all charge the Master with wasting [i.e.,
filching] the victuals by a scuttle made out of his cabin into the
hold, and it appears that he fed his favorites, as the surgeon,
etc., and kept others at ordinary allowance. All say that, to save
some from starving, they were content to put away [abandon] so
many." It was from this presentment that the Elder Brethren drew
the just conclusion--as we know from Prickett's characteristic
denial under oath that he "ever knew or heard" such expression of
their opinion--that "they deserved to be hanged for the same."

In the testimony of Edward Wilson, the surgeon--one of the
"favorites"--the point is made, credited to Staffe, that "the
reason why the Master should soe favour to give meate to some of
the companie and not the rest" was because "it was necessary that
some of them should be kepte upp"--in other words, that some
members of the crew, without regard to the needs of the remainder,
should receive food enough to give them strength to work the ship.
This is an agreement, substantially, with the charge preferred
against Hudson in the "Larger Discourse"; upon which Dr. Asher made
the exculpating comment: "But even if this charge be a true one,
Hudson's motives were certainly honorable; with such men as he had
under his orders it was dangerous to deal openly. Their crime had
no other cause than the fear that he would continue his search and
expose them to new privations: and it seems that in providing for
this emergency, he had even increased his dangers." Dr. Asher's
excuse, I should add, refers more to concealment of food than to
unfair apportionment.

I have no desire to play the part of devil's advocate; but--in the
guise of that personage under his more respectable title of
Promotor Fidei--it is my duty to point out that if Hudson
deliberately did "keep up" himself and a favored few by putting the
remainder on starvation rations--no matter what may have been his
motives--he exceeded his ship-master's right over his crew of life
and death. His doing so, if he did do so, did not justify mutiny.
Mutiny is a sea-crime that no provocation justifies. But if the
point at issue was who should die of hunger that the others should
have food enough to keep them alive, then the mutineers could
claim--and this is what virtually they did claim in making their
defence--that they did by the Master in a swift and bold way
precisely what in a slow and underhand way he was doing by them.

In the more agreeable rôle of Postulator, I may add that this
charge against Hudson--while not disproved--is not sustained. The
one witness, Robert Byleth, of whom reputable record survives--the
only witness, indeed, of whom we have any record whatever beyond
that of the case in hand--did not even refer to it. In his
Admiralty Court examination--he is not included in the record of
those examined at the Trinity House--he said no more than that the
"discontent" of the crew was "by occasion of the want of
victualls." Neither in his statement in chief nor in his
cross-examination did he charge Hudson with wrong-doing of any
kind. Byleth himself does not seem to have been looked upon as a
criminal: as is implied by his being sent with Captain Button
(1612) on the exploring expedition toward the northwest that was
directed to search for Hudson; by his sailing two voyages
(1615-1616) with Baffin; and, still more strongly, by the fact
that he was employed on each of these occasions by the very
persons--members of the Muscovy Company and others--who most would
have desired to punish him had they believed that punishment was
his just desert. That he did not testify against Hudson must count,
therefore, as a strong point in Hudson's favor; so strong--his
credibility and theirs being considered comparatively--that it goes
far toward offsetting the testimony of the haberdasher and the
barber-surgeon and the common sailors by whom Hudson was accused.

But it is useless to try to draw substantial conclusions from these
fragmentary records. The most that can be deduced from them--and
even that, because of Byleth's silence, hesitantly--is that in a
general way they do tend to confirm Prickett's narrative. They
would be more to my liking if this were not the case.

A curious feature of the trial of the mutineers is its long
delay--more than five years. The Trinity House authorities acted
promptly. Almost immediately upon the return to London of the eight
survivors of the "Discovery" five of them (Prickett, Wilson,
Clemens, Motter and Mathews--no mention is made in the record of
Byleth, Bond, and the boy Syms) were brought before the Masters
(October 24, 1611) for examination. In a single day their
examination was concluded: with the resulting verdict of the
Masters upon their actions that they "deserved to be hanged for the
same." Three months later, 25 January, 1611 (O.S.), the matter was
before the Instance and Prize Records division of the High Court of
Admiralty; of which hearing the only recorded result is the
examination of the barber-surgeon, Edward Wilson. Then,
apparently, the mutineers were left to their own devices for five
full years.

So far as the records show, no action was taken until the trial
began in Oyer and Terminer. The date of that beginning cannot be
fixed precisely--there being no date attached to the True Bill
found against Bileth, Prickett, Wilson, Motter, Bond, and Sims.
(For some unknown reason Mathews and Clemens were not included in
the indictment; although Clemens, certainly, was within the
jurisdiction of the Court.) The date may be fixed very closely,
however, by the fact that the two most important witnesses,
Prickett and Byleth, were examined on 7 February, 1616 (O.S.).
Three months later, 13 May, 1617 (O.S.), Clemens was examined. And
that is all! There, in the very middle of the trial--leaving in the
air the examinations of the other witnesses and the judgments of
the Court--the records end.

Had document No. 2 of the Oyer and Terminer series been found, some
explanation of the five years' delay of the trial might have been
forthcoming; and the exact date of its beginning probably would
have been fixed. As the records stand, they leave us--so far as the
trial is concerned--with a series of increasingly disappointing
negatives: We do not know why two of the crew--one of them
certainly within reach of the Court--were not included in the
indictment; nor why the trial was postponed for so long a time; nor
certainly when it ended; nor, worst of all, what was its result.

I should be glad to believe that the mutineers--even including
Byleth, who was the best of them--came to the hanging that the
Elder Brethren of the Trinity, in their off-hand just judgment,
declared that they deserved. If they did, there is no known record
of their hanging. A curiously suggestive interest, however,
attaches to the fact that at just about the time when the trial
ended one of them, and the only conspicuous one of them, seems
permanently to have disappeared. That most careful investigator the
late Mr. Alexander Brown was unable to find any sure trace of
Byleth after his second voyage with Baffin, which was made in
March-August, 1616. Seven months later, as the subjoined records
prove, he was on trial for his life. It seems to me to be at least
a possibility that the result of that trial may have led directly
to his permanent disappearance. If it did, and if Prickett and the
others in a like way disappeared with him, then was justice done on
Hudson's murderers.


Trinity House MS. Transactions. 1609-1625.

(24 _October_ 1611)

   The 9 men turned out of the ship:
   Henry Hudson, master.
   John Hudson, his son.
   Arnold Ladley.
   John King, quarter master.
   Michael Butt, married.
   Thomas Woodhoase, a mathematician, put away in great distress.
   Adame Moore.
   Philip Staff, carpenter.
   Syracke Fanner, married.

   John Williams, died on 9 October.
   --Ivet [Juet], died coming home.

   Henry Greene.
   William Wilson.
   John Thomas.
   Michell Peerce.

   Men that came home:
   Robart Billet, master.
   Abecocke Prickett, a land man put in by the Adventurers.
   Edward Wilson, surgeon.
   Francis Clemens, boteson.
   Adrian Motter.
   Bennet Mathues, a land man.
   Nicholas Syms, boy.
   Silvanus Bond, couper.

After Hudson was put out, the company elected Billet as master.

Abacuck Pricket, sworn, says the ship began to return about 12th
June, and about the 22d or 23d, they put away the master. Greene
and Wilson were employed to fish for the company, and being at sea
combined to steal away the shallope, but at last resolved to take
away the ship, and put the master and other important men into the

He clears the now master of any foreknowledge of this complot, but
they relied on Ivett's judgment and skill.

Edward Wilson, surgeon, knew nothing of the putting of the master
out of the ship, till he saw him pinioned down before his cabin

Francis Clemens, Adrian Motter and Bennet Mathues say the master
was put out of the ship by the consent of all that were in health,
in regard that their victualls were much wasted by him; some of
those that were put away were directly against the master, and yet
for safety of the rest put away with him, and all by those men that
were slain principally.

They all charge the master with wasting the victuals by a scuttle
made out of his cabin into the hold, and it appears that he fed his
favourites, as the surgeon, etc., and kept others at only ordinary
allowance. All say that, to save some from starving, they were
content to put away so many, and that to most of them it was
utterly unknown who should go, or who tarry, but as affection or
rage did guide them in that fury that were authors and executors of
that plot.

Instance & Prize Records. (High Court of Admiralty). Examinations,
&c. Series I. Vol. 42. 1611-12 to 1614.

Die Sabbto XXV'to _January_ 1611.

EDWARD WILLSON, of Portesmouth Surgion aged xxij yeares sworne and
examined before the Right Wor'll M'r [Master] Doctor Trevor Judge
of His Matyes High Court of the Admiltye concerninge his late
beinge at sea in the Discovery of London whereof Henry Hudson was
M'r for the Northwest discovery sayth as followeth.

Being demaunded whether he was one of the companie of the Discovery
wherof Henry Hudson was M'r for the Northwest passage saythe by
vertue of his oathe that he was Surgion of the said Shipp the said

Beinge asked further whether there was not a mutynie in the said
Shipp the said voyadge by some of the companie of the said Shipp
against the M'r, and of the manner and occasion thereof and by
whome saythe that their victualls were soe scante that they had but
two quartes of meale allowed to serve xxij men for a day, and that
the M'r had bread and cheese and aquavite in his cabon and called
some of the companie whome he favoured to eate and drinke with him
in his cabon whereuppon those that had nothinge did grudge and
mutynye both against the M'r and those that he gave bread and
drinke unto, the begynning whereof was thus viz't. One William
Willson then Boateswayne of the said shipp but since slayne by the
salvages went up to Phillipp Staffe the M'rs Mate and asked him the
reason why the M'r should soe favour to give meate to some of the
companie, and not the rest whoe aunswered that it was necessary
that some of them should be kepte upp Whereuppon Willson went downe
agayne and told one Henry Greene what the said Phillipp Staffe had
said to the said Willson Whereuppon they with others consented
together and agreed to pynion him the said M'r and one John Kinge
whoe was Quarter M'r and put them into a shallopp and Phillipp
Staffe mighte have stayed still in the shipp but he would
voluntarilie goe into the said shallopp for love of the M'r uppon
condition that they would give him his clothes (which he had) there
was allso six more besides the other three putt into the said
shallopp whoe thinkeinge that they were onely put into the shallopp
to keepe the said Hudson the M'r and Kinge till the victuals were
a sharinge went out willinglie but afterwards findinge that the
companie in the shipp would not suffer them to come agayne into the
shipp they desyred that they mighte have their cloathes and soe pte
of them was delivered them, and the rest of their apparell was
soulde at the mayne mast to them that would give most for them and
an inventory of every mans pticuler goodes was made and their money
was paid by Mr Allin Cary to their friendes heere in England and
deducted out of their wages that soe boughte them when they came
into England.

Beinge asked whoe were the pties that consented to this mutynie
saythe he knoweth not otherwise then before he hath deposed savinge
he saythe by vertue of his oathe that this exãet never knewe
thereof till the M'r was brought downe pynioned and sett downe
before this eãxtes cabon and then this examinate looked out and
asked him what he ayled and he said that he was pynioned and then
this exãte would have come out of his cabon to have gotten some
victualls amongest them and they that had bounde the M'r said to
this exãte that yf he were well he should keepe himselfe soe and
further saythe that neither did Silvanus Bond Nicholas Simmes and
Frances Clements consente to this practize against the M'r of this
exãtes knowledge.

Beinge demaunded whether he knoweth that the Hollanders have an
intent to goe forthe uppon a discovery to the said Northwest
passadge and whether they have anie card [chart] delivered them
concerninge the said discovery saythe that this exãte for his parte
never gave them anie card or knowledge of the said discovery but he
hath heard saye that they intend such a voyadge and more he cannot
saye savinge that some gentlemen and merchants of London that are
interessed in this discovery have shewed divers cardes abroad w'ch
happelie might come to some of their knowledge.

Beinge asked further whither there bee a passadge throughe there he
saythe that by all likeliehood there is by reason of the tyde of
flood came out of the westerne ptes and the tyde of ebbe out of the
easterne which may bee easely discovered yf such may bee imployed
as have beene acquainted with the voyadge and knoweth the manner of
the ice but in cominge backe agayne they keepinge the northerne
most land aboard found little or noe ice in the passadge.

Beinge asked what became of the said Hudson the M'r and the rest
of the companie that were put into the shallopp saythe that they
put out sayle and followed after them that were in the shipp the
space of halfe an houre and when they sawe the shipp put one [on]
more sayle and that they could not followe them then they putt in
for the shoare and soe they lost sighte of them and never heard of
them since And more he cannot depose.

Rich: Trevor.      Edw: Willsonn.

I certify that the foregoing is a true and authentic copy.

J.F. Handcock,
Assistant-Keeper of the Public Records
London, 9th _June_, 1909.

       *       *       *       *       *

Admiralty Court. Oyer and Terminer. 6.

No. 2 cannot be found. The bundle commences at present with No. 8.

No. 77. True Bill found for the trial of Robert Bileth alias
Blythe, late of the precinct of St. Katherine next the Tower of
London, co. Middlesex, mariner, Abacucke Prickett, late of the city
of London, haberdasher, Edward Wilson of the same, barber-surgeon,
Adrian Matter, late of Ratcliffe, Middlesex, mariner; Silvanus
Bonde, of London, cooper, and Nicholas Sims, late of Wapping,
sailor, to be indicted for having, on 22 June 9 James I, in a
certain ship called The Discovery of the port of London, then being
on the high sea near Hudson's Straits in the parts of America,
pinioned the arms of Henry Hudson, late of the said precinct of St.
Katherine, mariner, then master of the said ship The Discovery, and
putting him thus bound, together with John Hudson, his son, Arnold
Ladley, John Kinge, Michael Butt, Thomas Woodhouse, Philip Staffe,
Adam Moore and Sidrach Fanner, mariners of the said ship, into a
shallop, without food, drink, fire, clothing or any necessaries,
and then maliciously abandoning them, so that they came thereby to
their death and miserably perished. [Latin. Not dated.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Admiralty. Oyer and Terminer. 41.


Friday 7 _February_, 1616 [O.S.]

Abacucke Prickett, of London, haberdasher, examined, says that
Henry Hudson, John Hudson, Thomas Widowes, Philip Staffe, John
Kinge, Michael Burte, Sidrach Fanner, Adrian Moore and John Ladley,
mariners of the Discovery in the voyage for finding out the N.W.
passage, about 6 years past, were put out of the ship by force into
the Shallop in the strait called Hudson's Strait in America, by
Henry Grene, John Thomas, John Wilson, Michael Pearce, and others,
by reason they were sick and victuals wanted, "under account"
[i.e., if rations from the existing scant store were served out
equally] they should starve for want of food if all the company
should return home in the ship. Philip Staffe went out of the ship
of his own accord, for the love he bare to the said Hudson, who was
thrust out of the ship. Grene, with 11 or 12 more of the company,
sailed away with the Discovery, leaving Hudson and the rest in the
shallop in the month of June in the ice. What became of them he
knows not. He was lame in his legs at the time, and unable to
stand. He greatly lamented the deed, and had no hand in it. Hudson
and Staffe were the best friends he had in the ship.

About five weeks after the said ship came to Sir Dudley Digges
Island. Here Grene, Wilson, Thomas, Pearse and Adrian Mouter would
needs go ashore to trade with the savages, and were betrayed and
set upon by the savages, and all of them sore wounded, yet
recovered the boat before they died. Grene, coming into the boat,
died presently. Wilson, Thomas and Pearse were taken into the ship,
and died a few hours afterwards, two of them having had their
bowels cut out. The blood upon the clothes brought home was the
blood of these persons so wounded and slain by the savages, and no

There was falling out between Grene and Hudson the master, and
between Wilson the surgeon and Hudson, and between Staffe and
Hudson, but no mutiny was in question, until of a sudden the said
Grene and his consorts forced the said Hudson and the rest into the
shallop, and left them in the ice.

The chests of Hudson and the rest were opened, and their clothes,
and such things as they had, inventoried and sold by Grene and the
others, and some of the clothes were worn.

Thomas Widowes was thrust out of the ship into the shallop, but
whether he willed them take his keys and share his goods, to save
his life, this examinate knoweth not.

At the putting out of the men, the ship's carpenter [Staffe] asked
the company if they would be [wished to be] hanged, when they came
to England.

He does not know whether the carpenter is dead or alive, for he
never saw him since he was put out into the shallop.

No shot was made at Hudson or any of them nor any hurt done them,
that he knows.

He did not see Hudson bound, but heard that Wilson pinioned his
arms, when he was put into the shallop. But, when he was in the
shallop, this examinate saw him in a motley gown at liberty, and
they spoke together, Hudson saying: It is that villain Ivott
[Juet], that hath undone us; and he answered: No, it is Grene that
hath done all this villainy.

It is true that Grene, Wilson and Thomas had consultation together
to turn pirates, and so he thinks they would have done, had they
not been slain.

There was no watchword given, but Grene, Wilson, Thomas and Bennett
watched the master, when he came out of his cabin, and forced him
over board into the shallop, and then they put out the rest, being
sick men.

He told Sir Thomas Smith the truth, as to how Hudson and the rest
were turned out of the ship.

He told the masters of the Trinity-house the truth of the business,
but never knew or heard that the masters said they deserved to be
hanged for the same.

They were not victualled with rabbits or partridges before Hudson
and the rest were turned into the shallop, nor after.

There was no mutiny otherwise than as aforesaid, they were turned
out only for want of victuals, as far as he knows.

He does not know the handwriting of Thomas Widowes. He, for his
part, made no means to hinder any proceedings that might have been
taken against them.


[_On the same day_.]

Robert Bilett, of St. Katherine's, mariner, examined, saith that,
upon a discontent amongst the company of the ship the Discovery in
the finding out of the N.W. passage, by occasion of the want of
victualls, Henry Grene, being the principal, together with John
Thomas, William Wilson, Robert Ivett [Juet] and Michael Pearse,
determined to shift the company, and thereupon Henry Hudson, the
master, was by force put into the shallop, and 8 or 9 more were
commanded to go into the shallop to the master, which they did,
this examinate thinking this course was taken only to search the
master's cabin and the ship for victualls, which the said Grene and
others thought the master concealed from the company to serve his
own turn. But, when they were in the shallop, Grene and the rest
would not suffer them to come any more on board the ship, so Hudson
and the rest in the shallop went away to the southward, and the
ship came to the eastward, and the one never saw the other since.
What is otherwise become of them be knoweth not.

He says that the men went ashore (as above) to get victuals; and
from their wounds the cabins, beds and clothes were made bloody.

There was discontent amongst the company, but no mutiny to his
knowledge, until the said Grene and his associates turned the
master and the rest into the shallop.

He heard of no mutiny "till overnight that Hudson and the rest were
[to be] put into the shallop the next day," and this examinate and
M'r. Prickett persuaded the crew to the contrary, and Grene
answered the master was resolved to overtrowe all, and therefore he
and his friends would shift for themselves.

Such clothes as were left behind in the ship by Hudson and his
associates were sold, and worn by some of the company that wanted

The ship's carpenter never used such speeches, to his knowledge.
[This seems to refer to Staffe's question, "Would they be hanged
when they came to England?"]

Philip Staffe, the carpenter, went into the shallop of his own
accord, without any compulsion; whether he be dead or alive, or
what has become of him, he knoweth not.

No man, either drunk or sober, can report that Hudson and his
associates were shot at after they were in the shallop, for there
was no such thing done.

He was under the deck, when Henry Hudson was put out of the ship,
so that he saw it not, nor knoweth whether he were bound or not,
but saith he heard he was pinioned.

Henry Grene, and two or three others, made a motion to turn
pirates, and he believes they would have done, if they had lived.

He denieth that he took any ringe out of Hudson's pocket, neither
ever saw it except on his finger, nor knoweth what became of it.

Such beds and clothes as were left in the ship, and not taken by
Hudson and the rest into the shallop, were brought into England,
because they left them behind in the ship.

There was no watchword given, but Grene and the others commanded
the said Hudson and the rest into the shallop, and upon that
command they went.

He told Sir Thomas Smith the manner how Hudson and the rest went
from them, but what Sir Thomas said to their wives he knoweth not.

There was no mutiny, but some discontent, amongst the company; they
were not victualled with any abundance of rabbits and partridges
all the voyage. He doth not know the handwriting of Widowes, nor
hath he seen what he put down in writing.


       *       *       *       *       *

Admiralty. Oyer and Terminer. 41.

13 _May_, 1617.

Frances Clemence, of Wapping, mariner, aged 40, says that Henry
Hudson, the master, and 8 persons more were put out of the
Discovery into the shallop about 20 leagues from the place where
they wintered, about 22d of June shall be 6 years in June next, as
he heard from the rest of the company, for this examinate had his
nails frozen off, and was very sick at the time.

Henry Grene, William Wilson, John Thomas and Michael Pearse were
slain on shore by the savages at Sir Dudley Digges Island, and
Robert Ivett [Juet] died at sea after they were slain.

Philip Staffe, the ship's carpenter, was one of them who were put
into the shallop with the master and the rest; whether he is dead
or not, he knows not.

The master displaced some of the crew, and put others in their
room, but there was no mutiny that he knew of.

Henry Hudson was pinioned, when he was put into the shallop. (With
other answers as in the previous examinations.)


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